Adrian (Bor), Max (1903–73), actor, was born 1 November 1903 in Ireland, the son of Edward Norman Cavendish Bor, a Bank of Ireland agent (or manager), and Mabel Lloyd (née Thornton). The family lived successively at Maryborough, Callan, and Waterford. Max was educated at Portora Royal School, Enniskillen (1918–21), and made his first stage appearance in the Gaiety theatre, Douglas, Isle of Man, as part of the chorus of ‘Katja the dancer’ in 1926. Having made his London debut in 1927 with a walk-on part in a production of ‘The squall’ at the Globe theatre, he continued working in London, and later appeared in New York (in 1934), and with various provincial repertory companies. It was not until his season at the Westminster theatre in 1938 that he came to prominence. Following a well received portrayal of Pandarus in a modern-dress production of ‘Troilus and Cressida’, he added several Shavian roles to his repertoire, most noticeably the Dauphin in ‘Saint Joan’ and Sir Ralph Bloomfield Bonnington in ‘The doctor's dilemma’. He had continuing success on joining John Gielgud's company at the Haymarket, where from 1944 to 1945 he secured a variety of roles, including Tattle in ‘Love for love’, Puck in ‘A midsummer night's dream’, Arnold in ‘The circle’ and an acclaimed Osric in ‘Hamlet’.
Noted for his versatility, Adrian interspersed his work in classical theatre with appearances in popular revues, notably ‘Light and shade’ (1942), ‘Tuppence coloured’ (1947), ‘Oranges and lemons’ (1948) and ‘Airs on a shoestring’ (1953), which ran for almost two years at the Royal Court. A founder member of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre Company (later the RSC), he worked with the company in 1960 and 1963 and earned excellent notices for his performances as the Cardinal in ‘The duchess of Malfi’ and Feste in ‘Twelfth night’. He subsequently joined the newly established National Theatre Company, playing, among other parts, the Inquisitor in ‘Saint Joan’, Serebryakov in ‘Uncle Vanya’ (both in 1963) and Brovik in ‘The master builder’ (1964). He had lengthy international tours with his one-man shows, ‘An evening with G.B.S.’ (1966) and ‘Gilbert and Sullivan’ (1969). With Laurier Lister he co-wrote Against our hearts (1937), and turned his hand to directing with ‘We proudly present’, which was staged at the Duke of York's theatre (1947), and co-directed and performed in ‘Fresh airs’ (1956).
His cinematic debut came in 1934 in The primrose path; thereafter he appeared in numerous films including The young Mr Pitt (1942), Henry V (1946), and The Pickwick papers (1952). In the 1950s and 1960s he made many television appearances, taking parts in Perry Mason (1959), Doctor Who (1965) and Up Pompeii! (1969), and also worked on radio. He made a belated, and interesting, return to cinema in two Ken Russell films, The music lovers (1970) and The devils (1971). As an actor, he was known for his stylistic accuracy and rather camp style. He died 19 January 1973 at his home in Shamley Green, Surrey. The National Portrait Gallery, London, holds several portraits, including one by Cecil Beaton from 1949.